Open Bug 133787 Opened 19 years ago Updated 2 hours ago

[UX][Meta] Redesign print preview and make it tab-modal instead of window-modal


(Toolkit :: Printing, task, P1)





(Reporter: contact2009, Unassigned)


(Depends on 39 open bugs, Blocks 4 open bugs)


(Keywords: meta, Whiteboard: p=0)


(1 file)

This is an offshoot of bug 133388. 

There are some user interface problems created by using the browser window for
print preview. Window close commands lose consistency with other applications
common to the platform. For example, Alt-F4 on Windows usually closes the
window, or asks the user if they want to save their work before closing the
window. In Mozilla's print preview, however, Alt-F4 appears to do nothing.
Another example is clicking the upper right-hand "X." This usually has the same
effect in Windows as Alt-F4. In Mozilla's print preview, however, it restores
browser mode, and keeps the window open.

The current implementation does not close the Window when the user clicks on the
upper right-hand "X" because the user may have typed data into a form, and that
would be lost if the browser window were closed. That problem could be avoided
by implementing print preview in a separate window.

IE 6 implements print preview in a separate window. That isn't a reason for us
to do so, of course.

For the sake of window closing behavior consistent with the platform, we should
implement print preview in a separate, non-browser window. The user can close
that window with Alt-F4 or by clicking the "X" and not have any dataloss issues.
Priority: -- → P4
Target Milestone: --- → Future
Keywords: mozilla1.1
This bug conflicts with bug 110641. 
Keywords: mozilla1.1mozilla1.2
*** Bug 172769 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Okay, so it seems to me that the solution would be a dialog-box type setup (like
what happens when you get a page load error), where the print preview comes up
in front of the original view and freezes it until you close the print preview
Keywords: nsbeta1nsbeta1-
*** Bug 262574 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
mod summary
Assignee: rods → printing
QA Contact: sujay
Summary: implement print preview in separate window → implement print preview in new separate non-modal (modeless) window
Blocks: 111935
Blocks: 369590
Flags: blocking1.9?
No longer blocks: 369590
Flags: blocking1.9? → blocking1.9-
Whiteboard: [wanted-1.9]
Flags: wanted1.9+
Whiteboard: [wanted-1.9]
Assignee: printing → nobody
QA Contact: printing
This would solve Bug 177491, which is VERY old -- reported back in 30 oct 2002, and still a problem in Seamonkey 1.1.16 and Firefox 2.5rc2.
Blocks: 616843
Blocks: 59314
No longer blocks: 59314
Blocks: 177491
The print preview as it is today is a remnant of the no tabbed browsing era. So I think it would be best to allow it to be showed per tab. This would fix a dozen of user interface inconsistency problems.

Something has to be done because this UI flaw is now around for OVER A DECADE(!)
Duplicate of this bug: 850832
Blocks: 947125
Whiteboard: [feature] p=0
Chrome has a very nice print UI, which combines the print dialog, page setup dialog and print preview into a single tab-modal sheet, see bug 650957 attachment 8373015 [details].
No longer blocks: fxdesktopbacklog
Flags: firefox-backlog+
Whiteboard: [feature] p=0 → p=0
Summary: implement print preview in new separate non-modal (modeless) window → [UX] Implement print preview in new separate non-modal (modeless) window
Summary: [UX] Implement print preview in new separate non-modal (modeless) window → [UX] Make print preview tab-modal instead of window-modal
Duplicate of this bug: 615349
See Also: → 122126
Summary: [UX] Make print preview tab-modal instead of window-modal → [UX] Redesign print preview and make it tab-modal instead of window-modal
Duplicate of this bug: 1385689
Duplicate of this bug: 1400305
See Also: → 650966
Summary: [UX] Redesign print preview and make it tab-modal instead of window-modal → [Meta][UX] Redesign print preview and make it tab-modal instead of window-modal
Blocks: 1302489
Summary: [Meta][UX] Redesign print preview and make it tab-modal instead of window-modal → [UX][Meta] Redesign print preview and make it tab-modal instead of window-modal
Duplicate of this bug: 650966

I dup'ed bug 650966 to this bug since there's a bunch of noise in the comments over there that at this point aren't really useful. The one comment potentially worth considering is bug 650966 comment 1:

This is vastly easier now we clone documents for printing.

I've had some ideas for this rattling around for a while.

My main idea is to get rid of the print-preview mode for layout
presentations. Introduce a new XUL <page> element that can reference a print
presentation and render a page from that presentation. Implement print
preview by creating a print presentation and constructing a list of XUL
<page> elements rendering its pages. Then with straight XUL you can do all
kinds of things we can't do today, like add per-page UI, preview N pages at
a time in any layout, visually select pages to print, direct-manipulation
changes to margins, use whatever style you want, etc. Would also simplify
layout and provide better WYSIWYG guarantees since the same presentation
would be used for print preview and printing.

Depends on: 1587459

So where are we with this issue? There seems to be three of them very similar: 219412, 347417, and 133787. These have all been open for over 15 years!

From my understanding Firefox used to have a built in print preview function on Mac's but then removed it since OSX added their own. However macOS no longer has a built in print preview (except for Apple's own apps) so wouldn't it make sense for Firefox to re-enable their own print preview function again?

I have tried tons of "print preview" add-ons for Firefox and they all seem to be built off the same framework which doesn't work all the time. Before printing I always invoke the preview to I can ensure text/page elements all fit on the page correctly and often times it's best to shrink the scaling % to fit better. For example, that one line that always seems to get put on page two, but changing to 90% and then everything fits on page just fine. Even when I get the preview looking right and hit print, I'm then presented with different options (auto shrink page width, print background images, paper orientation, etc) and these settings seem to be a gamble since they never seem to match what I just saw in the preview. One common problem I have is looking at the preview which is in portrait, but when actually printing it comes out in landscape. Or trying to match up the scaling % in both places. It's kind of like having two volume controls on a Bluetooth you set one to 100% and then adjust as necessary with the other, or mix the two controls until you get what you want? What's worse is you'll never know until you actually print it out to see if it worked. Most of the time this leads me to printing 5 or 6 times or exporting as a PDF and THEN printing just to get it to come out right.

Rather then having this headache any longer, why not build in a print preview into Firefox so that the printing process is one step like it is in other browsers? I click print, I get a preview window, adjust if needed and then confirm the print and be done. This is lot more straightforward then having to use a 3rd party preview system that frequently does not match Firefox's print settings which results in incorrect print jobs and wasted ink and paper.

Depends on: 1631440
Duplicate of this bug: 347417
Depends on: 1495237
Component: Print Preview → Printing
No longer depends on: 1587459
Product: Core → Toolkit
Target Milestone: Future → ---
Version: Trunk → unspecified
Type: enhancement → task
Priority: P4 → P1
Depends on: 1648867
Depends on: 1649202
Depends on: 1649204
Depends on: 1649206
Duplicate of this bug: 1628722
Depends on: 1652627
No longer blocks: 1648868
Depends on: 1648868
No longer blocks: 1653317
Depends on: 1653317
No longer blocks: 1653319
Depends on: 1653319
Depends on: 1652861
Depends on: 1653323
Depends on: 1653324
Depends on: 1653327
Depends on: 1653386
Depends on: 1653389
Depends on: 1653392
Depends on: 1653423
Depends on: 1653607
Depends on: 1654684
Depends on: 1654073
Depends on: 1654962
Depends on: 1656057
Depends on: 1656062
Depends on: 1656069
Depends on: 1656298
Depends on: 1656688
Depends on: 1656939
Depends on: 1656995
Depends on: 1657010
Depends on: 1657020
Depends on: 1657704
Depends on: 1657733
Depends on: 1657994
Depends on: 1658030
Depends on: 1658031
Depends on: 1658043
Depends on: 1658067
Depends on: 1658074
Depends on: 1658099
Depends on: 1658101
Depends on: 1658102
Depends on: 1658138
Depends on: 1658208
Depends on: 1658247
See Also: → 1658287
Depends on: 1657506
Depends on: 1658405
Depends on: 1658409
Depends on: 1658414
Depends on: 1658421
Depends on: 1658439
Depends on: 1658444
Depends on: 1658445
No longer depends on: 1658533
Depends on: 1658664
Depends on: 1658709
Depends on: 1658718
Depends on: 1658726
Depends on: 1658737
Depends on: 1658749
Depends on: 1659010
Depends on: 1659112
No longer depends on: 1658737
Depends on: 1659159
Depends on: 1659207
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